Mourinho: Reverence for Spurs won´t hold Real back
Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho has great respect for Tottenham but predicts they will not get past the Champions League quarter-finals.
Spurs and Real have been drawn together in one of the most exciting last-eight ties, with Harry Redknapp's Tottenham side already proving capable of toppling European giants Inter Milan and AC Milan.
But Mourinho, who admitted he was thrilled not be drawn against former clubs Inter and Chelsea in the quarter-finals, has warned Spurs their European campaign is about to come to an end.
Asked if Tottenham could go all the way in Europe, Mourinho told the BBC: "It's possible. They have a not very easy draw, but they have not had an easy draw from the beginning."
"But I want to believe, with all respect of course, that their campaign in the Champions League will finish in the second leg at White Hart Lane," he said.
"They have reason to be proud already, and I think they have a reason to fight us and to try to reach the semis, but I believe that we are a better team."
But the Portuguese manager concedes the Premier League outfit will be no pushovers given their European form of late.
"Any team is difficult and any team is a motivation for us," Mourinho said.
"Tottenham are a good team - they beat Inter, they beat Milan, they have ambitions, and they have a very good team and a good manager in Harry (Redknapp)."
"You can feel that it is a happy team, and happy teams are dangerous teams."
Real have been in dogged pursuit of La Liga rivals Barcelona ever since Mourinho's arrival at the Bernabeu, and the tactician concedes he may have to wait until next season to achieve greatness with Los Blancos.
"I keep thinking and saying that it is a very, very young team, so I think the second season will be the great season for this Real Madrid team," he said.
"But when you arrive in April and you are in three competitions and everything is open you cannot say: 'I'm not ready for it, I don't want it, I don't try it'."
"The team is coming up, some boys are adapting, people like (Mesut) Ozil, (Angel) Di Maria, arriving for the first team in Spanish football, they are much more comfortable at this moment."
"It looks like we are arriving strong in the last moment of the season when every match is a final, every defeat kills your chances and every victory feeds your ambition."
Tottenham visit the Bernabeu in a fortnight, with Real making the trip to White Hart Lane for the second leg on April 13.